Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tufting a Headboard the EASY Way

I just finished a large an beautiful tufted headboard for a very nice lady. I know there are a bazillion tufted headboard tutorials out there, so I decided to only touch on the tricks I use and haven't seen before.





First, what do you put it on? Yes, you can hang it on the wall but in my experience doing this, I would not want to try it with an extra-tall Cal-king sized headboard (as in this case). It is very big and very heavy. Just trying to get it lined up with the hangers would be a nightmare. My very wise client decided she wanted her headboard to have legs. So, what do you make the legs out of? How do you cover them?

The cheapest and easiest way is to use 2 x 4's. I always upholster the legs before attaching them, so I can move and adjust them if needed. Upholstering them is easy. Simply cut some extra batting the length of your legs. Wrap it around and attach with staples. No need to go crazy with staples, just a few to hold it in place. The edges of the batting should meet in the middle, but I cut my piece a little narrow. If that happens to you, no worries, it will be covered with your seam.




Now, wrap the legs like you would a Christmas present but instead of tape, use staples to secure the fabric. 





Make sure not to wrap the batting around the ends so they stay flatter and easier to stand up.





Now for the tufting. I have tufted several pieces of furniture before, and tried a few different techniques. For headboards and even most kinds of ottomans I found the cheaters way to tuft quickly. You've probably read a dozen blog posts on how to cut out your shape from a sheet of plywood and how to glue on your foam, so I'll skip that part.



Once you have your foam attached, cover it with batting and secure with staples on the backside. Flip the headboard over so it is foam side up. Drape your fabric over it, making sure to have several extra inches on all sides. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases. Mark your desired locations for the buttons.



Here's the cheaters part. Get some heavy duty wood screws and some small washers. I used 3/4 in plywood and 1 1/4 inch screws. My screws were almost 1/2 inch too long, so even though they look tiny, I would go with 3/4 inch screws next time.



Start in the middle of the headboard. Place a screw through a washer and line it up with one of your button marks.


Push the screw down with the drill all the way to the wood if you can. Slowly start to drill, making sure to not snag the fabric or foam with the screw. Once the screw starts to take in the wood you can speed up. Tighten the screw as far as it will go. The screw will create the tufting and the washer will keep the fabric from pulling over the screw.




Work from the middle out, being mindful of any pleats or creases you would like to see. Once you are all done it will look like this.



Next, flip the headboard over, pull the fabric taught and secure with staples. Cover as many buttons as needed in matching fabric. I prefer to use "shank-less" buttons when I use this method. Using a strong fabric glue, cover the screws with the buttons.

The last step is to attach the legs. Lay the headboard face-down, line up the upholstered legs with the outside edges. Drive 4, 2 1/2 inch wood screws through the legs and into the headboard. Now you have a beautiful, tufted headboard that wont fall and crush you in your sleep!





I wouldn't use this technique on a seat cushion or if your don't want your buttons tightly tufted, but like I said before, I've used it on ottomans and other headboards with great success. Happy tufting!



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53 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! I was thinking I'd prefer a tufted headboard for our Master Bedroom makeover, but the process seemed too daunting. But not this!!! I just may attempt it. Can I ask what kind of fabric you used here??? And can you find shankless buttons at the fabric store or just order online???

    Thanks so much! Anneke at thisthatandlife@gmail.com

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  2. Thank you! I'm taking this project on in the near future and am pinning this for reference. Beautiful work!

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  3. Oh Wow! Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I'll definitely pin it for future reference.

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  4. Thank you thank you thank you! I've always wanted to tuft something but, it always looked way to hard. Can't wait to try this trick - great tutorial! I found you over at MMS - and I'm a new follower; would love it if you stopped by and followed back :)

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  5. This is awesome. I have never read to learn how to do it. I might have to try one day.

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  6. This turned out nice.:) Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving the kind comment on my blog. I'm following you back.

    designfluff.blogspot.com

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  7. I pinned your tutorial for later use, in case I use it when I finally get around to tufting my headboard!

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  8. Miriam told me all about this and it is even MORE beautiful than I imagined it! Why can't you be MY neighbor??!! Absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to try this and see what else you have up your sleeve . . .

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  9. Genius! This turned our great & looks like there would be a LOT less cussing than with traditional tufting!
    Sarah

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  10. Why did I never think of this?! Brilliant! I just started a tufted headboard project, so this was perfect timing!

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  11. This is really nice to show how to make a headboard (Cabeceira). After the guy finished the work on it, it looks so beautiful.

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  13. Really enjoyed reading this article as furniture is my passion. You really can't go wrong with hardwood furniture especially solid oak furniture, where every piece has its own unique character. More detail

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  14. Thank you Elisha for a great idea. We have tried other methodes for tufting and this seems to work the best. We just finished our latest headboard, which you can see here: http://homeinformationguru.com/?p=16250
    We included a link back here for our readers to follow these great ideas. Thank You

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  15. SO glad I found this tutorial. I've read a few others on tufted headboards but nothing this easy and with no sewing! Thanks for the tip!

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  16. Well that is something I haven't seen before ;) Seems like a great idea. I am working on a ottoman right now and doing it the old fashioned way, but I will definitely remember this for next time ;) Beautiful project. I love furniture too!

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  17. Wow it looks so easy! I can't wait to make one for our bedroom. Thank you so much for sharing the pictures with us. Very neat!

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  18. This is the smartest idea ever! Thanks so much for posting. I'm so glad I saw your post before I tried to make my own :)

    What size foam do you feel works best? And I'm a new follower of your blog. Yay!

    Brie - Breezy Pink Daisies

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  19. Oh wow, this is a great tutorial. Everything is explain very clear and it seems easy to make a headboard now. Thanks

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  20. Love this!!! I might get the courage to do mine. :) Just found your blog, can't wait to look around. I would love for you to check out mine. upcycleaddict@wordpress.com
    I love what I've seen so far.

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  21. Hey, I really wanna try the easy way of tufting, but im scared ill ruin the babric when drilling the screws, how can I avoid this. Does the type of fabric you use matter, I want to use silk.

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    1. I have never used silk, so I can't say for certain that it will work perfectly. If I were you, I would build a small sample from a piece of scrap wood, foam, and the fabric you plan to use. My other recommendation is to make sure you puncture through the fabric and foam with the screw, pressing hard against the wood, before you start to drill. Lastly, start drilling slowly so you can watch what the fabric is doing. If it was me, I'd give it a shot! Good luck!

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  22. Hey, I really wanna try the easy way of tufting, but im scared ill ruin the babric when drilling the screws, how can I avoid this. Does the type of fabric you use matter, I want to use silk.

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  23. I love your suggestions and can hardly wait to get started. However, I do have a question. As I read I understood that you glued the fabric to the shank less button but do you also use the fabric glue to attach the button to the headboard? Does the fabric glue hold the button effectively? I have never used fabric glue but does it dry quickly like hot glue?
    Thanks.
    Reeny

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    1. The fabric glue holds very well, but it doesn't dry as quickly as hot glue does. I've tried both and the buttons I attached with fabric glue have held on strong, whereas some the the hot glue buttons eventually started to pull off. I hope this helps!

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  24. Ummmm seriously! Thank you so much -- I'm making one this weekend! LOL You totally rock!

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  25. I love this Elisha, thanks for a great tutorial! (and thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday- pinning!)

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  26. Oh you made it look so easy. Your headboard turned out amazing. Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.

    xoxo
    Denyse

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  27. I've admired tufted headboards but haven't made one of my own. Your screw and washer technique is genius!! Thanks so much for sharing with this week's Throwback Thursday party.

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  28. What sort of foam is best for this tia

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    Replies
    1. You can use just about any foam. I usually use medium density foam sheets but I've seen people use high density and even foam mattress toppers.

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  29. Oh Wow! Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I'll definitely pin it for future reference.

    rustic furniture & garden bench

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  30. Quick question! I see your wood template has all the holes marked and then once the fabric goes over top how do you see where to tuft?? Its sooooo beautiful can't wait to try :)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I made my marks on the OSB before adding the foam. I did this mostly to get a feel for the layout of the tufting. Figure out how many buttons I was going to need, how far I'd be from the edges, etc. Once you attach the foam and fabric, yes you can't see the marks. I just measured on top of the fabric and made a small pencil mark. It may not have been exactly in the same spot, but close. Does that help?

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  31. Oh my, that if flippin' awesome! Using washers and screws for the tufting is genious. I've had materials to do an ottoman for a long time but keep putting it off...partly because I wasn't sure how to tackle the buttons. Thanks!
    Kelly

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  32. How do you attach the legs onto the headboard? Thanks! Beautiful!

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    1. To attach the legs, I just drove four, 2" screws through the legs and into the back of the headboard. Does that make sense?

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  33. This may be a stupid question or maybe I am overthinking it all but how do you attach the buttons to the screws? Are they just glued on? What kind of glue do you recommend? Also would you use this method for a toddler's, she is 3, bed? I have several projects that I would like to use this method because it seems like it would be the easiest and strongest method.

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  34. How are the buttons attached? Are they glued? What kind of glue do you use? Would this be safe for a little girls bed?

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    1. I just saw this question, sorry! Yes, they are glued. I used heavy duty fabric glue, and they are VERY secure. Depending on how old the little girl is an if she would try to pull them off, not sure. I think it would be safe, but I can't guaranty it would be 100 percent baby-proof. Thanks!

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  35. Hi Elisha,
    I just found your tutorial. You make tufting look actually doable! I was wondering how thick was your foam? Tufted headboards I see in the store are 4-5 inches thick. Was that the thickness you used?
    Thanks

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  36. This is very easy, I could make artificial Tufted Headboard with my own at home, thank you, this article I describe the inspiration :)

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  37. Drape your fabric over it, making sure to have several extra inches on all sides. air conditioner repair denver

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  38. Wonderful blog! I certainly adore how it is straightforward on my eye balls as well as the particulars are properly written. I bookmarked your site! office furniture

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  39. Beautiful! How do you connect it to the bed rails?

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  40. Great blog!It seems to be lot of work.I'd like to do this for my sofa. Thanks

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  41. oh my God I'm so excited I found you! I literally have my foam, board screws etc all ready to go and I decided to 'google' just one more time for more tips I might have missed and I CAN'T BELIEVE I FOUND YOUR BLOG as I had not seen the 'washer trick'. I have the screws but just know they will rip the fabric and if not now then maybe later so the washer idea is simply brilliant. Now I need to calm down and go back and read the rest of this blog for more tips (if I can take it). But seriously. Thank you so much.

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad I could be of help. This way is so much easier than traditional tufting.

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  42. I have been wanting to do a project like this, but am not sure where to get such large pieces of fabric. Where to you tend to buy yours from?

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    1. I usually get my fabric from Joann's. If you look in the home fabric section, you can find several types 54" wide, which is plenty for a headboard. You'll just have to run the fabric lengthwise across the width.

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  43. thanks for sharing. i try to tufting my coffee table using this technique.

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